Daily Archives: April 14, 2008

Carlos Dunlap and a growth industry

I think this is my last post on ESPN’s broadcast of the Florida spring football scrimmage. I didn’t expect to blog as much on the event as I did, but it’s been such a target rich environment that I haven’t been able to help myself.

Anyway, I’m inspired by this post over at Orange and Blue Hue, one of my favorite blogs. It’s a fan’s perspective of the positives being generated in the program as it goes from spring to fall, and, as such, it’s a good read. If you’re a fan of the program and you can’t get excited about your team’s prospects in a blog post, what’s the point?

But here are the quotes that caught my eye and made me think a bit:

… The front four, led by Carlos Dunlap, pressured Tim Tebow and Cam Newton all day…

… On defense, a front four led by Dunlap, a vastly improved secondary and two hard-hitting safeties in Hill and right, and now a linebacking corps led by the vastly improved Spikes? More and more, this team is starting to look just as good, maybe even better, then the ‘06 national championship team…

As a highly regarded (five star recruit, babee!) freshman, Carlos Dunlap played in twelve games last year. He had a whopping total of seven tackles in that time. Now, based on a scrimmage, going up against an offensive line that played for both teams all day, he’s already a leader of the defense.

Sure, every fan watching a spring game gets pumped up about a player emerging unexpectedly (just think about all the Dawg All Stars from previous G-Day games). But it’s one thing for you or me to chatter excitedly on the way out to the parking lot with fellow fans about how a kid looked. Or even for someone like Vince or me to do it on a football blog. It’s quite another to hear Chris, Kirk and Lee gush about the same thing to a national TV audience.

How much media impact is that likely to have? You’ll know the fix is in if Dunlap’s name crops up on preseason All-SEC lists – not first team, of course, but even honorable mention would be a stretch based on the kid’s credentials to date.

The main thing here, though, is what a gift this turns out to be for Urban Meyer and his recruiting. He can walk into any recruit’s house and say “you can play for Coach X and maybe they’ll know your name in a few years, or you can come to Florida and hear Herbstreit and Corso praise your name in a spring game before your sophomore season!” Now that may not work all the time, but it will work.

That’s not a question of right or wrong, by the way. It’s a resource. Meyer would be foolish to waste it. And he’s not stupid. The thing is, neither are his competitors. Guys like Saban, Fulmer, Spurrier and, yes, Richt are going to see this for the advantage it is and demand to be cut in on the deal, too.

Which means more product for the sports channels. Which they won’t turn down. In other words, look for a proliferation of broadcasts of spring scrimmage games in your near future. The customer is always right.



Filed under College Football, Recruiting

Well then, allow me to retort.

Tony Barnhart gets back from the Masters to share this pithy observation with us:

…You can bet that every defensive coordinator in the SEC, including Georgia’s Willie Martinez, will spend part of his summer figuring out what to do when OC Dan Mullen puts Rainey and Percy Harvin on the field at once.

What, you mean putting Tebow on his ass a half-dozen times won’t work any more?


Filed under Georgia Football, Media Punditry/Foibles

Your morning Tebow

A couple of interesting stats about the SEC quarterback of the decade, courtesy of TSN’s Matt Hayes:

… the reality is he and his team struggled in big games. Losses to Auburn, LSU, Georgia and Michigan all occurred after Tebow’s impact on the game diminished in the second half once teams figured out how to attack the Florida offense.

And the late-game struggles weren’t limited to the losses. Consider these numbers: Tebow’s passer rating in the first quarter last fall was 219.72 — an ungodly number that’s 30-plus points higher than the overall NCAA record. In the fourth quarter, his rating was 126.24 — a below-average mark on the scale. In the first quarter last fall, he completed 80 percent of his passes; in the fourth, 53.1 percent.

By the way, Hayes is wrong about the Auburn game. Tebow engineered two fourth quarter drives to pull his team back into a 17-17 tie with a little more than seven minutes to go in the game. But the stats are of interest, nonetheless.

Hayes believes this is on the radar screen for the Gator coaching staff.

… Some of that can be attributed to Florida’s pathetic running game, and the fact there was little doubt where the offense was going in the fourth quarter. Frankly, what else can you pick at when you’re talking about a guy who had one of the best statistical seasons in NCAA history?

But I can tell you this: The Florida staff is well aware of the fourth-quarter drop-off — and specifically how pressure affected Tebow’s performance. The drop-off could be attributed to protection, but the best way to slow blitz packages is with personnel who win individual matchups in space on quick routes.

Florida had one player (WR Percy Harvin) last year who could do that. Redshirt freshman TB Chris Rainey, who has had a huge spring, could be another.

Basically, 2008 sounds like it could be more of the same for Florida’s offense. Except the Gators will count on another undersized, really fast dude to get the ball to.


Filed under Gators, Gators..., Strategery And Mechanics, Tim Tebow: Rock Star


In other news, South Carolina has decided it wants to be more like Mississippi State.

The USC athletics department is trying to show its true colors.

The Gamecocks will use a slightly darker shade of garnet in an effort to be more consistent in color usage. On the Primary Matching System color chart, which has 814 colors, USC is going from color 201 to 202.

The move was initiated by the university’s licensing office after consulting with an outside licensing company. The move is an effort to get “a truer garnet color,” said USC’s Chip Harvey, director of creative services for university publications.

“It’s one of those things where, if you look in the stands, you’d see shades from red to garnet. What we’re trying to do is get things a little more consistent,” Harvey said.

Mississippi State uses color 202…

Color me cynical (pun intended), but does this seem like little more than a cheap ploy to make fans buy new merchandise? How else does USC “get things a little more consistent”?


Filed under It's Just Bidness

Morning Dawgy treats

Two posts of note:

  • Spencer Hall aka Orson Swindle of EDSBS (as opposed to Orson Swindle, former government official and current McCain supporter) has a lovely tribute to Larry Munson up at The Sporting News, where he writes under his actual name, not his nom de blogge.  Confused?  Just go read the piece.
  • Over at Georgia Sports Blog, Paul Westerdawg has another thorough round up of spring practice stories for Georgia’s 2008 opponents.

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Filed under Georgia Football, The Blogosphere

The University of Spurrier

Can’t say I’m too surprised by this news:

Garcia back early? Coach Steve Spurrier said there is a chance suspended quarterback Stephen Garcia could come back before his scheduled return date of Aug. 15. But Spurrier declined to elaborate, adding that it was a university decision.

“We’ve already talked to Stephen, he knows what he has to do,” Spurrier said. “If he can fulfill his requirements, he’ll be back in August.”

The only thing Garcia needs to worry about is that Spurrier signs a better QB prospect.


Filed under Crime and Punishment, The Evil Genius